Outcome of suicidal ideation and behavior in a young, help-seeking population over a 2-year period

Crisis. 2007;28(1):4-10. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910.28.1.4.


Suicidal behavior is associated with negative outcomes, including completed suicide. This study examined the prevalence of suicidal behavior in a sample of referrals to a youth psychiatric service and investigated the stability of suicidality over 2 years. Of the 140 people (mean age 17.8) who were referred to a youth psychiatric service, 82 who were accepted for treatment (RA group) and 58 who were not accepted (RNA group) were assessed; 57% reported considering suicide and 39% reported attempting suicide in the 12 months prior to referral. Participants who reported suicidal ideation were significantly more likely than nonsuicidal participants to have multiple Axis I diagnoses and lower levels of functioning. At the 2-year follow-up there was a significant reduction in suicidality in the RA group, but not in the RNA group. In conclusion, suicidality is prevalent among young people referred to psychiatric services. Even brief contact with services results in a reduction in suicidality over 2 years.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Time Factors